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ALABAMA GUN CRIMES – An Overview

alabama gun crimeThe Alabama Code Defines Numerous Alabama Gun Crimes

Although many people associate criminal gun charges with Federal law, Alabama law defines a number of Alabama gun crimes that carry serious consequences.  Alabama gun crimes are largely defined in the Alabama Criminal Code (Title 13A of the Alabama Code).  The primary gun charges are outlined below.  However, the list is not exhaustive, and there are a number of other statutes and laws in Alabama which regulate gun possession, ownership, and use.  Consult with an experienced Alabama attorney for more information.

Certain Persons Forbidden To Possess Firearms

Anyone convicted of a crime of violence, either in Alabama or in any other state, is prohibited from possessing or carrying a firearm in Alabama.  In addition, no habitual drunkard or drug addict may possess or be in control of a firearm.  Alabama Code § 13A-11-72.  What is or in not a “crime of violence” for purposes of this Alabama gun crime is dependent on the particular facts of the underlying conviction.  Arson and third degree burglary have both been held not to be a crime of violence.  On the other hand, theft 2nd degree (arising from a shoplifting incident) has been held to be a crime of violence because Alabama has traditionally included larceny within the definition.  The determination if very fact dependent.   A claim of self-defense is available as a defense to this charge.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon

The topics of concealed carry and pistol permits are beyond the scope of this article and are treated elsewhere on the website.  However, in general, it is a misdemeanor Alabama gun crime to carry a concealed weapon without a valid permit. Alabama Code 13A-11-50.  The weapon has to be “carried on the person” meaning that it is so connected to the individual that when the individual moves, so moves the weapon.  A pistol in a briefcase in the back seat of a vehicle has been held not to constitute carrying a concealed weapon.

Regarding pistols in particular, another Alabama statute provides:

Except as otherwise provided in this article, no person shall carry a pistol about his person on private property not his own or under his control unless the person possesses a valid concealed weapon permit or the person has the consent of the owner or legal possessor of the premises;

Ala. Code § 13A-11-52

This particular area of the law is quickly changing, with new laws being proposed and passed even in the last year.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that you consult with an Alabama criminal defense lawyer to determine the exact state of the law regarding concealed weapons.

Possession of Firearm at Demonstration

It is an Alabama gun crime for a person, other than a law enforcement officer, to possess a firearm on their person or in their vehicle attending any demonstration being held at a public place.  It is also illegal for a person who has been advised by police to leave the area of a demonstration, or to leave the area of the demonstration as long as they continue to possess a gun, to be within 1,000 feet of the demonstration.
Demonstrations, as used in the statute include picketing, speechmaking or marching, holding of vigils and all other like forms of conduct which involve communicating views or positions where the conduct is likely to draw a crowd.  The statute covers pistols, rifles, and shotguns, whether loaded or unloaded.
The statute defines public place as any place to which the general public has access and a right to resort for business, entertainment or other lawful purpose.  The statute does not include a person in possession of a firearm within a private dwelling or other private building or structure.  Alabama Code § 13A-11-59.
Shooting Into Buildings, Vehicles, Planes, Trains, or Boats
It is an Alabama gun crime to fire a gun into a building, dwelling, vehicle, train car, watercraft, truck, or airplane.  It is a Class B felony if the gun is fired in to one of the above that is occupied.  If unoccupied, it is still a Class C felony.  It is also a Felony offense to fire a gun into a school bus or school building, whether occupied or not.
Certain Places Where You Cannot Carry A Firearm

It is unlawful to carry a firearm in any of the following:

  • Inside the building of a police, sheriff, or highway patrol station.
  • Inside or on the premises of a prison, jail, halfway house, community corrections facility, or other detention facility for those who have been charged with or convicted of a criminal or juvenile offense.
  • Inside or on the premises of a facility which provides inpatient or custodial care of those with psychiatric, mental, or emotional disorders.
  • Inside a courthouse, courthouse annex, a building in which a District Attorney’s office is located, or a building in which a county commission or city council is currently having a regularly scheduled or specially called meeting.
  • Inside any facility hosting an athletic event not related to or involving firearms which is sponsored by a private or public elementary or secondary school or any private or public institution of postsecondary education, unless the person has a particular permit.
  • Inside any facility hosting a professional athletic event not related to or involving firearms, unless the person has a particular permit.

This article highlights just a few Alabama gun crimes.  For more information seek legal counsel.